THE CINCINNATI NORTHERN RAILROAD
This list is from information obtained from Mr. Harley Marshall of Van Wert, Ohio and the New York Central Museum in Elkhart, Indiana.
The Cincinnati Northern had four Gas Electric cars. They were obtained from the Big Four in 1924. They were built by the Electromotive Corporation and the St. Louis Car Company. They were numbered M-100 through M-103. They never were in good shape and had a reputation for breaking down frequently.
7034 to 7036
6378 to 6385
5561 to 5575
Engines 6549 to 6558 had slide valves, long narrow fireboxes inside the frame. The fire door was set low in the cab and they were called “long barrels”. They were used in switching and work train service. Engine 6380 was sold to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus, date unknown.
Engines 6568, 6580 and 6582 had slanting cylinder to piston valves with Stevenson valve gear and were used in local freight service. Seven of this type engine were sold to the AC&Y, date and engine numbers unknown. Some of these engines probably came
from the Big Four at Beech Grove.
Engines 5887 and 5891 were similar to the 5500, (an earlier engine not included on this roster) but had arched cab windows, no power reverse or automatic cut-off. They were used in through freight service.
The G-6 engine class had piston valves with Walschaerts gear, power reverse and automatic cut-off. They were hand fired engines that carried 16 ton, 10,500 gallon tenders. They were reworked in the Cincinnati Northern shops at Van Wert, Ohio and used for through freight service. Some of these engines came from the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and were scrapped in 1936. They were replaced by H-5 and USRA H-6 engines.
PT-10TO TAKEN IN THE VAN INERT – OHIO ENGINE YARD MARCH 1946
FROM JIM BROWN CATARACT WISCONSIN
NEW YORK CENTRAL CABOOSE AT ANSONIA, OHIO. DATE UNKNOWN. FROM RAIL MODEL JOURNAL APRIL 2000. Courtesy of Tom Overton, 4-7-02.
Cincinnati Jackson & Mackinaw Railroad Engine No 30 Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works 1890 (No 10688) Philadelphia, PA Builders Photograph Became Cincinnati Northern Engine No 30, later NYC 6376
Harold K. Vollrath collection
Cincinnati Jackson & Mackinaw Railroad Engine No 12 Built by Rhode Island
Jackson, Michigan 1899
Harold K. Vollrath Collection
Cincinnati Northern Railroad Engine No 110 BYC 6974 Built by Brooks 1883 Bldr #7033?)
Jackson, Michigan 1905
Harold K. Vollrath collection
Engine 7035 AMERICAN 4-4-0 wider steam with Engineer Charles Redrup and fireman Clide Ford in the foreground. Notice the headlight. Tender reads New York Central Lines.
The exact date is unknown, however, Clide Ford started firing in 191
Engine 7030 American 1 4 0 under steam, with Engineer Clide Ford in the foreground
The exact date is unknown. Notice the electric headlight and capped stack.
ABOVE – H6a 2-8-2 Mikado 6311 on the turntable at Van Wert, Ohio Tune 53
BELOW – 6311 Over ash pit showing white flags ready to run as an extra.
CINCINNATI NORTHERN H6a # 1724 Van Wert, Ohio March 13, 1946
ABOVE: CINCINNATI NORTHERN H6a #1462 Van Wert, Ohio, May 21, 1952
BELOW: CINCINNATI NORTHERN H6A #1992 Van Wert, Ohio July 17, 1955
Van Wert above H6a 6396 5/22/55, below H7e 1992 7/16/55
Van Wert, Ohio H6a 6396, 6306 and 1892 5/2/55
While the early motive power was primarily “American” class, (4-4-0), then “Ten Wheelers”, (4-6-0), and “Consolidations”, (2-8-0), all were replaced with H-6a class “Mikados”, (2-8-2), in the late steam days.
The parent New York Central did try to replace the “Mikado” with the introduction of some L-2 class “Mohawks”, (4-8-2), as in the previous picture, which shows a “Mohawk’ at Van Wert in the early fifties. They were quickly removed from the CN as they were found to be too heavy for the light 90 and 100 lb. rail. The “Mikados” remained in service on the CN until the end of steam
While the primary, and only, motive power on the Cincinnati Northern Railroad in the fifties, prior to dieselization, was the H5a class Mikado (2-8-2) steam locomotive, the road did, on two occasions, see other locomotives.
On one occasion, a Wabash Railroad Hudson type (4-6-4) ran over the road from Alvordton, Ohio to Jackson, Michigan This was an excursion/fan trip, and the CN furnished a pilot for the trip.
On another occasion, a New York Central L2 Mohawk (4-8-2) was assigned to the road and ran from Van Wert to Jackson and return. It was found to be too heavy for the rails. Weighing some 367,000 pounds (as compared to the Mikado’s 295,000 pounds), 2864 was returned south to Van Wert, and was sent from there, back to Sharonville near Cincinnati. It had made just one trip over the road.
The L2, number 2864, pulled an eighty-car train over the Rollin hill without having to stop and double the hill. Doubling this hill was a normal procedure for the Mikados with a heavy train. This was not surprising, considering the Mohawks had a tractive effort of some 60,000 pounds, with an additional 12.700 pounds added with a booster. This compared to the Mikado’s 48.750 pounds of tractive effort, and no booster. The Mohawks had a boiler pressure of 250 p.s.i while the Mike had a 180 p.s.i operating pressure.
A Mohawk, #2854, made a run from Van Wert to Jackson and return. The fireman was Herb Swarm. That is the only recorded run north with a Mohawk A Mohawk was run from Van Wert to Sharonville, #3008. Again Herb Swann was fireman and Dave Stuckey
was student fireman for the trip.
A “Mohawk” did make a return appearance on the CN once, to pull 264 from Rollin to Jackson, when the diesels failed. It was a Michigan Central unit out of Jackson.
The only record of a J-3 “Hudson’, 4-6-4, on the CN was an appearance pulling a passenger train special from Toledo to Jackson, via Bryan, in the fall of 1954.
The NKPRR frequently detoured trains from Latty to Bryan and on east on the NYCRR. These trains were pulled by NKP “Berkshires”, (2-8-4), and the engines numbered in the 700 series. I am told the CN engineers, serving as Pilots to the NKIT on these trains, “were only too happy to ride the Berks!”
Steam operations ended, and all of the New York Central System was dieselized, in May
STEAM AND DIESELS SHARED THE ROAD
The death knell for steam on the Cincinnati Northern was spelled out with a message from the Michigan Central roundhouse at Jackson. It stated that they would no longer service steam locomotives after 12:01 a.m. on the ninth of January 1956. The first diesels to run on the Cincinnati Northern were numbers 8207 and 8208. These units were ALCO road switchers developing 1500 hp.each. They left Sharonville Yard pulling a freight consist on March 30, 1951. They arrived at Van Wert Yard at 3:30pm. The engineer was L.D.Thompson, The Conductor was R.E. Gamble. The brakemen was O.D. Hartman and J.F. Ainsworth.
The last steam engine to run on the CN was number 6306, an H6 class Mikado, built in 1918. It left Van Wert Yard, going south to Sharonville Yard at 5:15pm on February 6, 1956. The engine pulled only a caboose. The engineer was J.D. White, the fireman was H.H. Bebout, the conductor was G.W. Yocum, and the brakemen were N.D. Sutphen and R.D. Gamble.
Even the yard was now switched by diesel. From then on the road was served by a hodgepodge of units. GP-7’s & 9’s, Baldwin Sharks, some F and S units, and whatever could be scraped up. Sometimes, there was no power available. A Hell of a way to run a railroad!
THE LAST RUNS
The last ConRail train to run on the old Cincinnati Northern was engine number The train ran from Van Wert to Paulding and returned, picking up any railroad cars along the way. The engineer was J.L. Ford, The fireman was D.L. Linn, the conductor was J.L. Fox and flagmen ( brakemen) were J.L. Miller and A.E. Lintermoot.
The segment from Van Wert to Paulding had been kept open by a 100% federal subsidy the first year. The subsidy was reduced to 90% the second year with 10% to be picked up by the state. However, the Ohio Constitution prohibited the state from participating. The shippers along the line did not support the road with the needed 10%, and the railroad ceased operating on that portion. A southern segment from Van Wert to Rockford was kept open by support from the shippers in that area.
The last run on the southern portion was made on December 29, 1977. Diesel number 5831 ran from Van Wert to Rockford and returned. The engineer was R.M. Taylor, the conductor John McCoy, with brakemen Bob Callum and Richard Good\. The job was then handled by the Spencerville-Elgin RR from Elgin Ohio, operating on Erie trackage to Ohio City-Rockford.
The engines that pulled the last trains operated by the Penn-Central, on what was the Cincinnati Northern Railroad, met at Van Wert yards. On March 30, 1976.. Engine 7193 pulled the last southbound, and engine 7152 pulled the last northbound. Engine 7152 had to pick up cars at Scott, and thus became the actual last train to run on the CN and come into the yards.
Service would continue for a short time between Rockford and North Paulding, with subsidy funding by the government and shippers along the line, but this gave out after a little over a year.
Engineer J. R. Ford takes a last look at the yard in Van Wert, from the pilot of engine 7193